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Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Board of Trustees - Meta

Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Board of Trustees

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki < Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections‎ | 2017 Jump to navigation Jump to search Want to help translate? Translate the missing messages. The election ended 11 June 2017. No more votes will be accepted.
The results were announced on 19 June 2017. Please consider submitting any feedback regarding the 2017 election on the election's post mortem page. 2017 Wikimedia Foundation elections Board of Trustees Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) FDC Ombudsperson Organization History Past elections 2017201520132011200920082007200620052004 These English based talk pages are available for use during the Wikimedia Foundation elections 2017:

Contents

Protected edit request on 14 April 2017[edit]

Typo detected:

  1. Write up two brief summaries of no more then 200 words describing your work on the Wikimedia Projects and your offline Wikimedia work.

Typo fixed:

  1. Write up two brief summaries of no more than 200 words describing your work on the Wikimedia Projects and your offline Wikimedia work.

Mountebank1 (talk) 20:08, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Done Ruslik (talk) 20:27, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

A wikimedia um fundaçao com intereces da sociedade seria bom criar a wiki junior so para crianças sou um delas nos somos inteligentes tecnoligicas ,inteligentes cinceras integras e etc. Gabryell lukas (talk) 14:50, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

A wikimedia um fundaçao com intereces da sociedade seria bom criar a wiki junior so para crianças sou um delas nos somos inteligentes tecnoligicas ,inteligentes cinceras integras e etc. Gabryell lukas (talk) 14:50, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

How do candidates appear on translated pages?[edit]

I just translated the German page, and it's useless, as no candidate shows up there. Am I supposed to copy'n'paste all of them over there? Will they be translated somehow as well? When will that be? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:53, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

@Jalexander-WMF: Thanks for fixing this, just one Question: Why should I translate "Chris Keating" but not "Milos Rancic", "Dariusz Jemielniak" and "James Heilman"? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:11, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
@Sänger: It is from his image caption - not the name field. The same fields for each candidate are setup for translation. --Gregory Varnum (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 17:33, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, my bad Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:36, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Why is the Doc not verified?[edit]

He already was a member of the board, what's there left over, that he's not verified yet? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:50, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

It is under discussion right now. Ruslik (talk) 16:37, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
Where is the discussion taking place? Legoktm (talk) 19:18, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Why is there a discussion at all? I fail to see any reason for any discussion. He was elected last time, he illegitimately was booted from the board some 16 month ago (probably legal, but in no way legitimate), what could make him suddenly not verifiable? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:07, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Might be a lag. funnily enough, a current Board member (Maria Sefidari) is listed as not verified at the moment. :) aegis maelstrom δ 14:09, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Looks like all is good :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:47, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

One translation is missing[edit]

I don't think I can do anything about it, as I can't change anything on the frontside. So could someone please make the new candidates available? Bets as soon as they subscribe here, automagically? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:50, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

We usually wait for a few days before we mark any new submission for translation in case the candidate makes changes. Ruslik (talk) 16:36, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Question to a single candidate[edit]

Some questions are a bit more specific, often triggered by the candidate's statement or background. Where should those be asked? Effeietsanders (talk) 06:49, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

If people have specific question for me, let me know. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:32, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry to see that the election organizers never got around to answering this question! Effeietsanders (talk) 19:12, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

When will the Q be ready for answering?[edit]

Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:01, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

@Doc James: The committee is working on collating them now and has been working hard on that since yesterday's close. I think the absolute latest for them will be Monday UTC but we're working to try and get them up as soon as possible (Today/Tomorrow) if possible to allow as much time for response as we can and more time for translation. We will send an email out to all candidates as soon as they're posted so that you can get to them as soon as you're able. Jalexander--WMF 22:13, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Perfect thanks User:Jalexander-WMF Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:43, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Anyone chance of a list- even a partial one - today? :) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 09:26, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
en:Radio silence, seemingly.--Mautpreller (talk) 14:14, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Since it's now the working week in California - @Jalexander-WMF: - hello, just wondering if everyone is still working to having this done today? I have drafted some answers and it feels a bit odd keeping them on a scratchpad out of public view (I suspect I'm not alone here). Also I'm getting a bit concerned about the amount of time available to translate questions and answers. Thanks :) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 15:52, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
It's fine to do the extra work to "collate" the questions, but maybe it would have been easier to simply leave them as they are. The advantages of collating might be overcompensated by the disadvantages of time loss.--Mautpreller (talk) 16:20, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Education[edit]

Why didn't you integrate my question about Education into your collated list? It ran: Do you agree that Wikimedia projects should primarily pursue educational objectives, rather than financial and technological ones? If so, what should be done to strengthen the weight of educational objectives? Specifically: There are four seats "appointed by the rest of the Board for specific expertise". How do you think they should be selected? Specifically, do you agree that members of educational institutions (universities, libraries, etc.) should be selected?

I deem this an important question and I cannot understand why the candidates should not answer it.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:23, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Mautpreller, I was actually delighted to see this question! As a matter of fact, within my work in the Board Governance Committee I’ve proposed a competence matrix that specifies experience from academia as not even one, but two key areas that we should cover. I strongly believe that we need people with strong academic, educational or librarian credentials and reach. I probably am a little biased here, as I’m a full tenured professor and I believe that the next leap in Wikipedia’s credibility will be done at the university’s level. I even published an academic paper about bridging the gap between Wikipedia and Academia. Anyhow, my understanding is that the Election Committee wanted to limit the strain on the translators... Pundit (talk) 08:59, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I'd like to see the answers of all candidates. The question is short and specific, why should it strain the translators unduely?--Mautpreller (talk) 09:59, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
@Mautpreller: Actually, I wrote an answer to this in advance, so I might as well share it Here goes :-
Yes, the WMF’s objectives are all about making the sum of human knowledge available to all. That’s not “education” in its conventional sense of programmes of study and examinations, but it clearly is educational in a broader sense. Fundraising and technology are means to that end. They’re clearly both very important to what we do as a movement, but we work in these areas to support that end goal, not just “because we can”.
Should there be professors and librarians on the WMF board? I think that’s a helpful perspective to have. However it also seems to be one that is provided quite well from the community and affiliate selection processes. I can think of 4 individual board members who have been professors or librarians in the last 5 years, all community or affiliate selected, and I think there has always been at least one on the Board. So I wouldn’t make this a priority in itself.
What should be priorities be for the appointed seats? The board should continually review its own strengths and weaknesses and seek to balance them out with appointments. The things that tend to be in short supply from community and affiliate-selected members are (speaking very roughly): professional expertise in technology, law or finance; experience with big non-Wikimedia volunteer movements; and perspectives from Africa, Asia and South America. So these are the things we need to particularly look for in filling appointed seats. I could mention gender balance as well, though currently the two board members in appointed seats are both women so that isn't the most important thing for the next appointment. (Also, I feel we shouldn’t be afraid to appoint people from Wikimedia backgrounds to these seats when they fill the right profile.)
I hope this is a useful answer! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 14:14, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Thx to both of you.--Mautpreller (talk) 14:31, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Up to now, I thought that collate means "to assemble something in a logical sequence" (Wiktionary) or "to collect, compare carefully in order to verify, and often to integrate or arrange in order" (Merriam-Webster). Is it possible that there is an alternative meaning that I don't know as a non-native speaker of the English language? --Mautpreller (talk) 14:08, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

User:Mautpreller Agree that we are a educational organization first and foremost and a tech organization secondarily. Those from the tech world are often more interested in the new and willing to take greater risk than those of us from academia. Wikipedia is no longer new and unproven. And we need to be working on the long term. While one or two individuals with such a background is useful on the board, four or five constitutes a risk. I am supportive of increasing the number of elected seats by one or two or at least appointing more board members with an educational background. Excellent options would include deans / former deans of prestigious universities or people from major educational organizations. While we have made strides with respect to improving our reputation among academia further involvement of academia would further this goal. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:14, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Thx to you, too.--Mautpreller (talk) 18:37, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

As I see that free discussion is no problem here (I was not sure in the beginning), I want to add some comments. I agree (not surprisingly) with Pundit that educational skills and, more so, outreach will be very important for the Board. I also agree with Doc James that it could be a risk to have too much "tech" on the Board because (that's my line of thought) it could lead to a confusion of means and ends. I don't agree with The Land. Of course, it's important to have skills and knowledge about technology and finance (and human resources, as an addition) on the Board. But the Board can and should actively look for experts with this knowledge as consultors. However, in my view, the most important function of the Board is to set directions where the Foundation should move to. This is about decisions concerning WMF policy and thus, at least in part, a political function. For this, we need as many people on the Board that are able and willing to put educational issues in the foreground as possible.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:23, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

@Mautpreller: Sorry for not responding earlier... Yes, that's important and I would like to see a prominent (hard or near-hard) scientist in the Board. It could be tricky, as we need a good person to fill "soft" roles, but we need an extraordinary person to fill the "scientist role". For example, if you want a person in the Board who would deal with gender gap, that would be a person whose primary job is already to be socially engaged. However, if you want a scientist in the Board, we need a good scientists who is socially engaged. But that's definitely important and, while being in the Nominating committee, I proposed a couple of prominent scientist, but that was not an easy task. I will put this into my "if elected" list and raise the issue at relevant point of time: it could be about an "expert Board seat", but it could also be about an advisory body or committee. We should definitely talk about it. --Millosh (talk) 11:53, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
THX. In my opinion you are right, it's not simply about appointing a "scientist." As The Land already said, there is no lack of persons who work or have experiences in the educational system. But the question is how WMF and educational system can cooperate resp. complement each other.--Mautpreller (talk) 12:10, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Mautpreller Btw, one of the things I've been trying to animate (and have discussed with staff e.g. in Berlin last month) is more collaboration between the WMF and some hey stakeholders in the education business, like leading universities, libraries, etc. I hope it is viable within the coming years. Pundit (talk) 12:35, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Good thing. Besides, I know you from a short encounter at the London Wikimania. Your presentation about the participation of scientists/experts in Wikipedia was impressive for me, and on German Wikipedia we talked about ideas how participation in form of a commentary namespace or else an advisory council (or an open access journal) is possible since there are systematic obstacles to direct participation.--Mautpreller (talk) 12:44, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh, thanks! :) Pundit (talk) 12:54, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Collate[edit]

I was glad about the answers to the "collated" question about community influence, most particularly Milos's. It's somwehat disturbing to see that not only my education question was skipped by the Election Committee but also the community influence question (supported by eight users) was deprived of its essential idea, that is, if and how community influence within the board could be strengthened. What is this collation process supposed to be? Is it an expression of fear that the questions in their pure form could poison the sensitive candidates' mind? I could understand if similar questions were arranged together to avoid repetitions but I am at a loss why the contents of these questions should be altered, diluted, bowdlerized or altogether skipped. Maybe the Election Committee could comment on that.--Mautpreller (talk) 18:51, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

I hope my answers to a number of the Qs[1][2] gives you a good idea of my position on this point. Let me know if you want me to expand on any aspects. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:10, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Hello Mautpreller, I will try to share with you the reasoning behind the collation, and than i hope it will be clear to you what are our intentions. Last elections the community as a whole had a large period to ask the candidate questions, this led to dozens of questions coming in until the very last moment of the elections. This was not so useful to three stakeholders on this processes:
  1. The candidtes, as they did not have a way to respond to all questions, and they did keep coming in the, so no point in time was set as a date to stop with questioning.
  2. the translators, which could not stand the in the pace and rate of incoming questions and responses, mostly in English, so we basically did not serve them well, and over all:
  3. the voters, that had to read walls of texts, in order to understand what was going on, but due to the fact translators did not stand the rate and pace, it was mostly in English, so we lost our ability to have a more diverse community voice.
As a result, we decided as the first standing committee to experiment with better ways to overcome the issues mentioned above, we might not fixed the issue entirely, or at all (which i hope we did fix at least a bit) but we did our best, and I will be the first to admit it is far from perfect. We will learn from it, and do better next time. I hope you do see the value it does bring in the current setting. Does this answer your question? Matanya (talk) 20:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Mautpreller, I was trying to follow the rules, because of fairness to other candidates - I will be most grateful if you let me know if you think that my answers satisfy your curiosity anyhow. I hope it is clear from my actual proposal made in Berlin, that I advocated for more community influence. Pundit (talk) 07:45, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, Pundit, I understand that. My idea was not so much to urge any candidate to answer my questions but to object to the "collating" procedure. You see that I didn't comment on your or other candidates' answers but simply thanked you. I am not interested to open up a new place for questions and "candidates' answers". The place for questions and answers should be Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Board of Trustees/Questions. The problem is that the Election Committee prevented that. I agree that following the rules is important for an election process but I do not think that the Election Committee followed their own rules.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:06, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

@Matanya: I see the problem that many questions came in until the last moment and there was no time to translate them (and, for the candidates, to reply to them). However, this problem could have been solved by setting a fixed date, early enough, for questions to be submitted. But it is definitely no solution to select and change the questions according to criteria that nobody knows. The problem is now that the questions are not "community questions." The questions asked by community members were skipped and replaced by a set of other questions authored by the Election Committee. There is a vague relationship between the original questions and the new questions but only vague. Essentially they are very different. So, eight people wanted to know if the candidates agreed that community influence should be strengthened and if so, what they wanted to do for this goal. In the "collated" question this has simply disappeared. Concerning the education question, it was skipped altogether for reasons I can't even imagine.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:48, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

To put it more precisely: 43 questions were submitted. Some were later than 20 April, some were obviously beside the point, etc. Let's say 30 different questions could be identified. By "collating" I understood that you arrange them in groups (content), deleting repetitions, so you could perhaps arrive at 15 different subjects, some with more than one question. This would have been possible, though not easy because it is difficult to keep the intention of the question intact in such a process. But you didn't do that! You chose to select some questions and to rephrase others so that they lost their original meaning, in an intransparent process. The result is that the set of questions doesn't represent what the voters wanted to know. This is a problem for the voters and also for the candidates, as you can easily see in some of their answers. As to the translators, they got additional time pressure by the time the collating process consumed.--Mautpreller (talk) 15:52, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I truly see your point and feel your disappointment. I think we should leave the case as it is now, and think very well what we can do better next year. Matanya (talk) 18:49, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I think we should continue to discuss this point after the election.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:23, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I think, last time it was a bit too laizzes faire, this time it was far too strict and censoring. The very idea of structuring the answers, reducing doubles, and have a deadline for submission is fine, the implementation this year was far from this. I hope the lessons learned will result in a better process next time, i.e. the FDC and ombudsman elections. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 08:42, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I'd like to go on with translations of the answers....[edit]

...but no new answer is yet in the tool. Worse still, in the German version it looks like there are just a few answers at all, while there are considerably more on the original English page. That doesn't look so good. Could someone it the WMF (or whoever else is able to do it) please kick the translator tool into high gear? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 07:58, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

@Ajraddatz, Atropine, KTC, Mardetanha, and Philippe: Anyone home? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 14:06, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@Ruslik0, Masssly, Matanya, and NTymkiv (WMF): at all? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 14:08, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@JSutherland (WMF) and Jalexander-WMF: and to those, who did it the last times. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 17:18, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
We are on it Sänger, Sorry for the delays, this election is very tight in its timelines. Matanya (talk) 18:51, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
One more thing that wasn't good planned. Like the non-translated, and thus leaving a rather arrogant impression on the non-english, i.e. the majority, communities, election invitation letter. If you have strict timelines, I expect the paid staff to organise shifts to prevent delays in such extremely important things like the most important for the WMF at all, the election of the board. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:05, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
BTW: Now I've gotm to go to bed, and won't be able to do much until tomorrow afternoon, and some wee stuff in breaks during my working hours. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:09, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

You may also review candidates' answers for the Board election[edit]

What does this mean? Commenting upon them? If so, where should one do this?--Mautpreller (talk) 08:39, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Error in a <tvar link[edit]

In Raystorms statement #1 was a syntax error in the link variable (a missing "<") it was [[tvar|affcomlink>Affiliations Committee</>|Affiliations Committee]] and not working, I changed it to [[<tvar|affcomlink>Affiliations Committee</>|Affiliations Committee]], and that does it. Unfortunately it didn’t propagate to the German translation, there is now a red-link to something wrong. Can someone please get this straight? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:21, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Good spot. Also I noticed a similar kind of problem in my answer to q2 which displays as this: ([[<tvr|thelandwhywronglink>User:The_Land/Why_do_They_always_do_It_wrong</>|that I set out in my essay on community-WMF relations]]) - I'm not familiar enough with the syntax so know how to fix it. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 16:28, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
That one is fine in both languages with me, is it still wrong with you? Curently it reads [[<tvar|thelandwhyalways>User:The_Land/Why_do_They_always_do_It_wrong</>|have written on how these dynamics work]] Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:34, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Where to vote?[edit]

I can't see any voting possibility, although it#s now far too late for a start, it's already 3 minutes past 00:00 UTC. Where can I cast my vote? Will the tiome, that's lost now, be added at the end? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 00:05, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

@Ajraddatz, Atropine, KTC, Mardetanha, and Philippe: @Ruslik0, Masssly, Matanya, and NTymkiv (WMF): @JSutherland (WMF) and Jalexander-WMF: It's now on the english pages, but still not on the translated ones. Why is there such a huge delay? Why isn't it prepared in an appropriate manner? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 00:17, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Should be there now. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 00:21, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
There are a lot of things that happen when the election starts and they can't happen instantly (and never have in the past either). The election starts automatically and we work to make sure that things get rolled out as quickly as possible and will continue to work to adjust them as needed. It will never be perfect because of technical and resource limitations but we'll always strive to do as much as possible. Re: Time added, the committee will discuss if they think any of that's necessary given all circumstances (for example there is at least some time later in the election where the database will be locked for maintenance and votes won't be able to be cast). We appreciate you pointing out where holes are however so that we can fill them as quickly as possible, there will obviously also be a period after the election where you can provide your public feedback about how the election went for the committee to review next year (an off year without an election) for improvement. Jalexander--WMF 00:46, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
User:JSutherland (WMF) The link on this page is for the 2015 election[3]? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:36, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
@Doc James: Where are you seeing this? Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 00:38, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
If you go [[4]] and click on "2. Go to the SecurePoll voting page" it brings me here [5] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:41, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
@Doc James: This should do it. I'd already made the change in a different template, this one I forgot existed :) Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 00:42, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Yup thanks Joe :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:42, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
It's minutes at the start of a 2 weeks voting period! Seriously? Things are being turned on and updated. No, the extra few minutes will not be added. -- KTC (talk) 00:50, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Incorrect link to candidate presentations[edit]

Under "Information for voters", the "candidate presentations" link currently goes to [meta.wikimedia.org] - for 2015, not 2017. There may be a problem with one of the templates that it draws from. Dreamyshade (talk) 01:28, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

It should be fixed now, thanks. -- KTC (talk) 01:38, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Wrong link[edit]

The link to the candidate presentations in the main page is to 2015... Ijon (talk) 01:29, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

If this is the same as above, then it's fixed now. Thanks -- KTC (talk) 01:38, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Vote page does not include User ID[edit]

In the wiki world, people often do not know the real names, but always know the user ID. Please include User ID in the voting page to make the list easier for most users. Thanks! --Yurik (talk) 04:03, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi @Yurik:! Traditionally it hasn't been included since the meta talk page link was there but happy to do so :). I added it into the template (using the username that already 'existed' so that it didn't screw with any translations) and it should be showing up now for anyone. Jalexander--WMF 04:36, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Sorting by factual criteria[edit]

AccountEdit countBot edit countYears in movementFAs/GAsDoctoral degreeYears on Supervisory Boards of Orgs with Budgets >5M$ The Land 9,543 n/a 13 4: [6], [7], [8], [9] - - Millosh, Милош 29,791 (12,907 + 16,884) 2,941,423 / 3,293,354 = 20,621 (Millbot, general purpose bot) + 2,841,744 (Millbot-Weather, Wikinews bot) + 66,958 (Millbot-Beta, Wikinews bot, blocked because of technical reasons) + 12,100 (Millbot-Belgrade, Wikinews bot) + 351,931 (Iglbot, Wiktionary bot, collaboratively) 13.5 (globally active since 2007, Language committee member, was steward etc.) Numerous on Serbian Wikipedia, but criteria was much lower than on English Wikipedia at that time. - - Pundit 14,595 11 years management 7 Doc James 220,004 In collaboration[10][11][12] 10 years Dengue (formally published) / 24 GAs medicine 1 عباد ديرانية 29,991 - - Raystorm 25,910 [13] - 3 Pgallert 17,183 8 years [14] - - Yurik 31,945 2,637,189 (YurikBot) 13 years
2013-2016 at WMF - - BamLifa 806 - -

JackPotte (talk) 13:01, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

JackPotte my personal view, of a person with just a mere 14k of edits, but a lot of organizational experience, is that just editing may not necessarily be the best proxy for being a good board member. Nevertheless, more data is more data, which is good. I'd love to see a table with the total number of years served on boards, in a leadership position, degrees, etc - for the future elections the EC could even consider a tmplate that'd adjust to the user preferences (so that the voters could sort according to their preferences). Pundit (talk) 13:09, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree, this is just a criterion among some others. Please feel free to add more columns. JackPotte (talk) 13:14, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
JackPotte: As a running candidate, I'd feel awkward adding years of experience from other boards, degrees, exposure to different cultures/hardship/censorship/diversity, matching the needed skills' matrix etc. to the table, as it would've appear that I'm trying to emphasize the areas where I may have some advantages. It'd surely be cool to review the candidates against the call, or the needed skills matrix, though. Pundit (talk) 13:23, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
As Yurik added bot edits, I took the liberty of adding Featured Articles (of which the candidate is the main author). I did a quick check on peoples' en.wp user pages for any to add but doubtless I missed a number of these. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 17:47, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it makes any sense for us (the candidates) to be adding more. I've added two criteria to show simply that choosing the fact points relevant for the board work can take different paths - we can keep adding rows, but eventually it should be the users or the media who make such calls, not us. Pundit (talk) 18:06, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, indeed! : ) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:51, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

With respect to calculating "years on a board", I would imagine many of us are on multiple boards concurrently. I sit on a number of boards related to medical administration at both the local, regional, and provincial levels for example. Degrees would be fairly easy to do but determining their equivalence between countries can be more challenging. With respect to the first criteria mentioned in the call for candidates "the ability to stand up for a point, to resist pressure" I could not agree more. This was critical. Hopefully a little less so now. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:55, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Doc JamesI did not mean any boards/committees (it is often too many to list indeed, I've been on a number of ministry of science boards, for instance), but boards of trustees/supervisory boards of organizations of similar size/budget (which, essentially, is much more related to the needed experience). Still, I agree that in essence, obviously, they should cumulate (each year on one board of this sort should count, even if parallel with others). I think that degrees are quite regulated (although some countries just don't have e.g. a habilitation - but at least in academia it is very clear what corresponds with what since mobility is quite high: at the very base level, you have a Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees. You also have different academic positions - both categories can have different names in other languages, but they are translated into English without much ambiguity. In principle you start as a teaching assistant/research assistant/doctoral student, after your Ph.D. you go on a postdoc or immediately to a "tenure-track" lecturer/assistant professor position, then senior lecturer/associate professor, then sometimes to a position of reader/associate professor with tenure, and finally after about 15-20 years in academia to the position of a professor, sometimes also called full professor. There are also other non-tenure track positions with relatively easily placeable status, and sometimes a "lecturer" can be anyone who teaches at university. In many countries there is no "tenure" per se, but because of the high mobility it is still understandable what is needed for what position, and very rarely there would be any confusion if some degree should be recognized as a Bachelor- or rather Master's).
Regarding the ability to stand up for a point, I think it is ALWAYS critical. Trustees are needed for tough decisions. If everything goes well, they can sit down and relax. When, however, tougher times come, we need people with the ability to go against the others, if it is the right thing to do. Such times come regularly - even the SuperProtect simply would not have been blown out of proportion if 1-2 Trustees realized it was a bad idea and stood up. Pundit (talk) 15:59, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
User:JackPotte another useful breakdown would be the number of edits in the last year. Some people were previously active on the wikis but are less so now.
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:31, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I know that my activity dropped as a result of being on the Board. It was time-consuming, energy-sucking, and quite tough - in the crisis. It also gave me a lot of priceless experience very relevant to the Board work that editing wouldn't. Pundit (talk) 15:59, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
+1 to Dariusz - my editing rate has never recovered from getting onto the Board of Wikimedia UK. I'd also concur with the "time-consuming and energy-sucking" judgement description, at least for parts of it. I think the same is true of almost anyone who's served on a Wikimedia organisation board will feel the same way. Equally, "time served on a board" is a poor proxy for "what have you accomplished on a board". Some people really drive things forward on a Board, others don't. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 17:56, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
  • One more important criterion would be experience from different roles on wiki. I know that I learned a lot from being a steward, an ombudsman, a checkuser, a bureaucrat, or an admin. Different tasks, different insight into how our communities work. Pundit (talk) 15:59, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree involvement in different aspects of the movement and on different projects is also critical. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:25, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I think it is silly. Adding criteria is not so useful if we do it ourselves. It should be the media or interested users who choose the useful criteria, imho... Pundit (talk) 18:01, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Agree. Would be most useful for people to add what criteria they are interested in and than we simply fill them in.
    • With respect to other board experience, I am the current head of an ER department with a budget for physician services of around 5 million and as such have a fair bit of experience with contract negotiations. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:15, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
      • Well, that's not been my intention for this column - I'm a head of department, too and deal with contracts, labor etc. but would not consider this to be exactly a "board experience". Being a board member is something quite specific - but I do agree that general experience in management and leadership positions is vital, too! Pundit (talk) 18:23, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

May you add, also my "Serbian" username: sr:User:Милош? :) --Millosh (talk) 09:22, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

OK, added it by myself :) Thought it was curated. --Millosh (talk) 09:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Engineering over community[edit]

Dear Doc James, Pundit and Yurik,

You have said that "increasing editor retention" and "increasing participation in the emerging communities" is less prioritary than "providing more engineering resources". Doc James also said that those are more prioritary than doing the Wikimedia movement strategy.

Why do you think that community issues should be less prioritary than technological issues for the Wikimedia Foundation? --NaBUru38 (talk) 18:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

Per the Q "Increasing editor retention" I replied "This is sort of the holy grail. While we should dedicate some resources to the problem, we are really not sure how to achieve this goal which makes it tough. Many of us have tried many things."
We need to study how to grow the communities. I believe that "Providing more engineering resources to improve editors' experience" will actually accomplish this better than most of the other options.
For example the visual editor has helped with recruitment and many new editors preferring it. Does VE lead to long term editors? I do know if we know this yet.
We have heard many raise concerns about incivility within our communities. One of the issues we face with respect to incivility is the inability to actually remove peoples ability to edit Wikipedia (they just come back as socks and continue).
Does meet up / editor training help? Some data indicates they do not result in long term editor retention, though I will likely continue running them myself. Increasing editor numbers and retention needs to be a collaboration process between the communities and WMF. It is a nebulous problem in needs of experimentation to figure out what works.
Issues with technology (especially the technology that editors use to write and discussing improving WP) IS a community issue.
With respect to directly "increasing editors" such as doing editor outreach IMO the WMF is not the best positions for this. Wikimedia Germany can better recruit German editors. Wiki Project Med Foundation can better recruit medical editors. Etc. And we have excellent funding processes in place for those who need it for such work. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:45, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Given that "we are really not sure how to achieve this goal" of increasing editor retention, is that a reason to put it lower in the priority list? --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:28, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
NaBUru38, I actually placed retention and more (focused) engineering efforts on the same line, as I think they are simply two ways to describe the same goal - how likely an editor will edit initially, continue editing, and become an active community member. Increasing participation by emerging communities is a subset of that. A lot of my recent work was actually targeting multilingual support, which would especially benefit emerging communities that do not have as much human resources to recreate all the required templates/modules. --Yurik (talk) 18:53, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
"I actually placed retention and more (focused) engineering efforts on the same line" - Correct, my question was not precise enough. --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:30, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the question. First of all, a lot of community issues (including the editor retention and increasing participation) have to have technological components. Therefore I'd have to rank the increase of engineering resources in remaining issues somehow. Increasing editor retention WITHOUT any engineering component (ranked 2 and 3) will be difficult (but surely there are many important social elements, as an organizational scholar I definitely agree there is a social element to it, too). Btw, we already have a pretty strong engineering team. The Visual Editor, "thank you" notifications, better communication system - are all good examples of how engineering has helped in our community, editor acquisition and retention problems. We also have a really good research team that does amazing things we should more and more translate into actual applications. Pundit (talk) 19:39, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
"surely there are many important social elements"
My concern is that the three of you think that the solutions to community issues can be solved mainly with technology, which I disagree. I like new interface elements like notifications, visual editors and threaded discussions. But issues like persistent conflicts and harassment cannot be solved with some nice interface. --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Some of the persistent harassment issues can be solved with better mechanisms to restrict access to WP though. Do we want the WMF wading in an enforcing "civility"? I think it is important to mostly have self governing communities.
A lot of community issues simply are not the WMF's to solve as they play more of a supportive role in many of these issues. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:25, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
NaBUru38 Your follow up made me smile, as this is the line of argument I often make, too :) yes, tech does not solve problems that are fundamentally social. Moreover, these social problems pertain to the communities, which need self-governing to address them - and even for practical, if not ethical reasons the WMF cannot impose wide norms on the communities (take image filtering as an example: some cultures will perceive some images as offensive). It is the WMF role however to make tools available. For instance, it is the community decision if they want flagged revisions or not. It has ramifications for retention, new editors etc - but the tool has to be available. Similarly, tools for quicker combating harassment, obscenity filters etc - are all technical, but their usage becomes social (through and by the community decision). I agree with you that some people are overcharmed with tech and think it can solve everything. It can't. It is only useful as an extension of social decisions and processes. And yet, the WMF can develop tech, and should not impose too much of the social rules. Pundit (talk) 06:00, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Agree with User:Pundit we are a social movement supported by tech. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:20, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Why adding a photo of the candidate on the description page[edit]

[meta.wikimedia.org]

Appearance is to often one of the main criteria to vote for someone. Of course people can look up and find candidate picture, but putting them directly in the description is certainly not a good idea. Some countries has banned picture on CV... --Gagarine (talk) 20:46, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

A lot can be said on the topic, let me just add one point which is less common in other contexts: it can happen that a voter has met a candidate at some wiki event and remembers their face, but not their name. Nemo 11:16, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Removing Board Members (part 2)[edit]

Hi all, there was a bit of discussion about removing Board members in the Wikipedia Weekly Facebook group, which I thought was an important enough subject to mention here. @Doc James: referred to his answer to that question, which reads:

"While removal of a board member should be possible this action should not be taken lightly. It also should not be done without including the electorate when a community elected board member is involved.

One option could be that, for a community elected board members, the board could trigger a by-election with a majority of support within the board. That board member could still run in the by-election if eligible. If issues of fraud were present they of course would be ineligible to run." My response was:

"Sounds like a nice idea, but I have reservations about how this would work in practice. In a situation where the Board is voting to remove someone, they probably won't be able to share all of the details, so the community wouldn't have all of the information they need to decide on how to vote in a by-election. Say, very hypothetically, a Board member was accused of sexual harassment of a staff member. I'm not sure the Board would be able to say anything about that in public at all, let alone in the level of detail that they'd need to persuade a sceptical electorate that their actions were justified. To my mind, your proposal creates the risk of us having outright bad actors on the Board and not being able to do anything about it. (Obviously, we haven't come close to that situation yet, but with this kind of policy change it's worth thinking through the edge cases...)"

I won't try to post the rest of the discussion from the Wikipedia Weekly group, but maybe we could continue talking about the subject here in broader view? Regards, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 07:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

As stated "Would need to bring legal in on this aswell." In a case such as you have mentioned I imagine disclosure that misconduct has occurred could be made. But regardless that would make the person ineligible to run in the next round of the election per "You must not have been removed from a position at a non-profit organization or other company because of mismanagement or misconduct" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:00, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I suppose if any significant breach of the Trustee Code of Conduct would count as "misconduct" then the problem solves itself. But if that's not the case, then it's unlikely that the Board will be able to communicate all of the reasons in public. (I have a vague memory that "misconduct" has a specific meaning in US law, with possibly serious consequences for someone's off-Wikimedia life and career, but I'm no expert here) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 14:24, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
What we cannot have is board members simply being removed over a difference of opinion on a policy questions. With respect to the specific meaning of "misconduct" in US law, would need to check with a lawyer. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:37, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I'd certainly agree with that: disagreement on policy and direction is a vital part of the role of a trustee, not grounds for sacking someone. Out of interest, is that how you would characterise your own removal from the Board? Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 17:39, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

There was a fair bit of coverage of the issues in the Signpost. I provided some details at the time in this op-ed.[15] These peices by others provide an additional overview[16][17]. An overview of statements from various parties can be found here with a broader timeline by Molly here.

The TL:DR in my opinion, we (1) disagreed on transparency around strategy (we IMO cannot be pitching a strategy to a third party that we are not willing to disclose to the movement), (2) disagreed on the prior ED, (3) and disagreed how strategy should be created. My positions was, our strategy must be transparent, we need an ED who is a good fit with our culture, and the strategy should be created by the movement as a whole rather than a small group of executives / board members.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:16, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

James, if these were the reasons, I'm afraid I'd be the first to go. Pundit (talk) 05:37, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Hi James - all very sensible positions. But it doesn't seem consistent to me that the Board would remove you for speaking out on those issues - and then go on shortly afterwards to sack Lila (and the Knowledge Engine with her) and then end up launching a big movement-wide strategy process, which were among the things you were advocating for. So I am still confused about what was actually going on. (That's not to say I agree with the Board's action in removing you, but I think it does highlight my point about the lack of information people would have in a by-election if your proposal succeeded...) Regards, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 07:08, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
After I was removed, our wider movement became acutely aware of the issues. Also remember that both Jan Bart and Stu West also left the board a couple of days after I did. A lot more than staff than left aswell.
Statements from staff upon leaving included comments such as this from Siko Bouterse "Transparency, integrity, community and free knowledge remain deeply important to me, and I believe I will be better placed to represent those values in a volunteer capacity at this time."
We have a more recent comments from User:LuisVilla such as "the ED discouraged communication between execs and board, and the board did not regularly seek out feedback from execs) was unhealthy for everyone, and heavily contributed to the board's inability to grasp the situation over the past year."
And another from Luis from May 2016, on wikimedia-l: "tl;dr: the board did not effectively perform one of their most important roles (managing the ED); the board (and board candidates) should be talking about how they will fix that... Last fall, there was no way for staff to even know who was on the HR committee until my repeated questions to *four separate board members* led to this edit." Please also note that I was not even on the HR Committe yet was the one who took care of updating its membership.
And one from Ariel Glenn "Make no mistake, this is not just about an ED. It's also about failure of oversight, powerlessness of staff, and a culture of exclusion, among other things. If, as I hope, the Board acts decisively to remove the current ED, that will only be the first step in a mountain of work ahead of us."
So yes the majority of the board at the time I left had decided to continue to drag everyone through the mud for longer. I opposed that option. As the severity of the issues became more and more clear and the members of the board changed the majority of the board eventually came around to the position I had supported in November of 2015.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:53, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
By the way this was some of the justification I was given by some on the board for voting against me.[18]
Here is a partial refutation by User:Asaf (WMF)[19]
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:10, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Again, your position on strategy, transparency, governance, oversight and leadership was in no way different than mine. Do you claim otherwise? Your removal was not related to these views. Pundit (talk) 16:03, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes I agree User:Pundit we shared a lot in common with respect to our positions. I have previously stated though "We had a formal vote regarding the ED in November and it was not unanimous."[20] I imagine we all remember how we voted but will leave it up to each to dislose their positions at the time.
My statement was in reponse to a statement by Oliver[21] as other board members IMO had publicaly misrepresented my position. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:15, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I have a short memory, but this somehow sticks in my mind ;) What I'm saying is that you indeed were in disagreement about important issues with other people. So was I. My perception was and still is that you were not removed because of any views. In fact, suggesting that you were removed for your ideas is sort of insulting not only to me, who expressed the same ideas at the time and was not removed, but also to the current Board members who were there and are depicted as if their reaction to disagreement and opposing views was... removing a trustee. Much as I opposed this removal, I have to observe that you were removed because you were perceived as disruptive, difficult to work with, and uncooperative operationally, and the view was that you were not likely to change. As you know I disagreed (and still do) with this judgment. I think you are a hard-working, smart Wikimedian, and even it occasionally was difficult to work with you, it would not change the clearly high added value - and IMHO your removal from the Board was a mistake. But I have to object to your claims of being removed simply because of your views on governance etc., especially since I believe we shared a lot, if not all of these views (and in fact, it was you who supported me on many fronts and issues at the time). This is simply not what happened. Pundit (talk) 16:31, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
The way Dariusz describes it is also how I remember it. It is not because James had a different opinion regarding transparency or the ED. It is that James had a different opinion about cooperating with the rest of the Board on resolving the issues at hand. He was explicitly asked to share his findings and to help the Board find a solution, but he kept his information private. As I can see, he still didn't learn from it, and continues to ride the high horse of being the martyr of the story. He wasn't. Dariusz, I, and him, and others, did mistakes in that story. Dariusz learned from it, James did not. I have no desire seeing such a situation repeated. --denny (talk) 17:12, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes we have disagreed on this before. I was not willing to change my position on the facts. I made up my own mind after making appropriate inquiries and upheld our core community values. I was not willing to "vote strategically" when it came to critical decisions. Additionally I was not willing to simply stand by and allow my position during a board meetings to be publically misconstrued by others on the board. Sure you can call these disagreements and actions "disruptive" or "uncooperative". If this is disruptive and uncooperative than sometimes disruption and uncooperativeness is required to protect the WMF and our movement. User:Denny what you state is simply untrue. I was involved with drafting a summary that was shared with the entire board. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:21, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
What incentive would I have to state untrue things? Since Dariusz description is consistent with mine, are you saying that he is lying too? Everyone who has knowledge of the facts said that you were not kicked off for being a champion of transparency. You are the only one who claims that. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. But seriously, why would a Board want to kick you off for trying to enforce one of our important values? That doesn't make sense. --denny (talk) 19:46, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Denny, I can't say I like your post mortem insinuations and even less your moral judgments as to who learnt and who did not. Your role as a community-elected trustee who agreed to remove another community-elected trustee may have caused you some qualms but I can't see in your actions right now that you "learnt from it". I, for my part, trust both candidates but see no reason to trust you.--Mautpreller (talk) 20:01, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Mautpreller, to be fair, you haven't trusted me even before I voted to remove James, so I guess I am not surprised you still don't. :) --denny (talk) 03:58, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
That's correct in some respects and wrong in others. I remember a long dicussion between us about Wikidata on German Wikipedia. We didn't agree on important points and it was not easy but in my opinion a good discussion. Both of us learnt new things, I hope - at any rate I learnt to find a new perspective on Wikidata, still very skeptical but more informed. Concerning your problems with potential conflict of interest, that's correct. However, your decision to agree with the Board's majority vote fixed the point for me. It seems absolutely impossible to get a rational explanation for that decision, even now. Maybe one should think about an irrational explanation. Vague rumors about "resolving the decisions at hand" don't help at all (or else, they help to see that there is still no will to tell anything pertinent).--Mautpreller (talk) 08:00, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Regarding our discussion on the German Wikipedia, I also learned quite a bit from it. I am glad you did too.
I gave this report on what happened. James did not share his documents in the fact finding period with legal counsel or the other board members. I don't consider that report particularly vague on the reasons why James was removed. --denny (talk) 14:58, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for this link, I didn't know it yet. I now looked through the mailing list thread. It doesn't satisfy me (some statements, especially of Pete Forsyth and Fae, seemed very convincing to me, particularly concerning the notion of confidentiality) and I still do not understand the decision and, more specifically, your decision. But it helps in the sense of information. I am now rather sure that the decision was wrong in the light of this information. When I read that you wanted to stay away from WMF politics, however, I had to catch my breath.--Mautpreller (talk) 15:46, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Hey, I have stayed out of WMF politics since then, haven't I? --denny (talk) 18:13, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I put together an overview of my findings and shared it with the entire board and legal. I also shared many emails. This is an interesting claim Denny as you were cc'ed on many of the emails in question. I have always been supportive of an independent investigation into this matter. But that was up to the board after I left. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:35, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
James, also having been present for all those meetings I must say that like Denny and Pundit, my recollection of the situation is very different from yours. In my nine years as a board member I have always hoped to have as many different opinions and voices in the conversation in order to come to the best decision (much like we try to leverage diversity to create the best NPOV articles in Wikipedia. The idea that I would want to remove you from the board because our opinions differ is crazy to me. The only reason I would vote for someone's removal is if I thought that a person was damaging the Foundation and/or had completely lost the trust of the board (making it impossible to work). And don't get me wrong, as a Board Member I have certainly made several bad judgment calls over the years, but voting for your removal was not one of them. Please do not try to position this as a fight for transparency, because that is not what the issue was, the issue was your performance as a Board Member. Also: the fact that you refer to several posts by (ex) staff members does not give you the right to position yourself as their champion, you were not... I am not sure what I find more disturbingL: the fact that you have decided to run again, or the fact that you do not seem to be able to take direct feedback and learn from it, but instead create your own story which is so different. That inability to take feedback alone should probably be enough to seriously question your suitability to work with a team in the Wikimedia Board of Trustees. Jan-Bart (talk) 06:30, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
James has often felt like a champion to me, actually - I don't see this as positioning. At the time in question, I saw him working in defense of a movement he believed in, and at great risk and cost to himself. That can't have been easy, however it played out. I recognize that there are probably as many versions of what happened as there are people who were involved at the time, but whatever the board's collective narrative is, it still feels pretty different from my own experience. I appreciate James's service, and am here neither to endorse nor oppose anyone, but I will ask you also to not speak for me or other staffers here, Jan Bart. Thanks, Siko (talk) 22:25, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Hi Siko, it was never my intention to speak for you or other staffers here, I was simply reflecting on how I saw the situation from my interactions. if this came across incorrectly, my apologies. Jan-Bart (talk) 13:32, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
The fact that the board was actively antagonistic towards the community in 2015 really took me aback. Yes Jan-Bart we have basic and fundamental disagreements which I have elaborated more on here. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:30, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Again: I am not concerned about any fundamental disagreements (For the record I do not agree with your populist "actively antagonistic" characterisation), I am concerned about your inability to comprehend the feedback provided to you by your peers and the story you have created for yourself which three other people who were there disagree with. Jan-Bart (talk) 18:35, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
@Jan-Bart: You were one of the board, that smacked the communities with full force in the face by doing nothing against the aggressive putschist, that created the nuclear device SuperProtect out of pure vain. Because of your extreme loud inaction against the perpetrators in the WMF Eric, Fabrice e.a. could wreak their havoc undisturbed. You were a disgrace for the board, like every other single member who didn't stand up against the putschist and for the movement. So be quiet about any behaviour at the board, you have no right to do so about others, because you failed completely. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:48, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Sänger, I find your language unacceptable. In fact, I would like to hear from every candidate in this election what they think of such language and how we as a movement should deal with it. I would imagine that would be an extremely insightful answer. @The Land:, @Millosh:, @Pundit:, @Doc James:, @عباد ديرانية:, @Raystorm:, @Pgallert:, @Yurik:, @BamLifa: --denny (talk) 16:01, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
<quetsch> SuperProtect was unacceptable. SuperProtect was pure and utter evil. There was nothing whatsoever good with SuperProtect. SuperProtect was a device, that was specially created to punish a community for daring to criticize the masters in San Francisco. SuperProtect was the very opposite of civilized. Anyone who supported SuperProtect in any way was an enemy of the communities. I fail to see any less descriptive words for this, it was bad to the bone to implement it and there are and were no valid reasons not to fire those involved asap. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:45, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the fact that SuperProtect should have never been developed, it contradicts our values. It is just that I don't think that acknowledging that should be exempt from our behavioral norms. Pundit (talk) 16:48, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
One of my fingers is immobilized and hurts when typing so I can't write long. In essence, I believe that anyone has a right to a fair critique, and freedom of speech is something we cherish. However, I believe that we also have the fundamental policy of civility and a clear rule against personal attacks. I believe that foul language unnecessarily antagonizes the discourse and makes it difficult to have a calm discussion (including possible valid criticism, as for instance I agree that the SuperProtect was a big mistake and I'm glad I was able to make it my priority since the beginning of my term and play a part in removing it). We should actively oppose profane language and personal attacks. Pundit (talk) 16:18, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Reasoned discuss is best but we also need to allow fair and civil criticism. (added: that comment was not sufficiently civil) What was done with superprotect was not cool. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:29, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
As you know, I was pretty active in making SuperProtect gone, so I definitely agree that it was not cool. However, I'm surprised that you call using phrases such as "shut the f*** up" fair and civil criticism. Clearly, there are huge cultural differences in the interpretation of our policies and behavioral guidelines. Pundit (talk) 16:40, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Except I never called it "fair and civil criticism" what I said was "we also need to allow fair and civil criticism". And yes I agree that was not sufficiently civil. Apologies if I was not clear. Am currently working and responding between calls. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:42, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
We should keep discussion civil. At the other side, I do not see Jan-Bart's appearance to be useful at all. Not that I think that anyone should be forbidden from discussion, not former Board members in particular, but there is an obvious gap in, for example, Denny's active participation in the whole process and Jan-Bart's appearance to make comments exclusively against one of the candidates, by telling us the story two other participants in the discussion know well. I won't make any further conclusions from this sudden appearance, although there could be a few of them. Just keep in mind that such actions irritate people a lot and make atmosphere much more heated. And we don't need that. --Millosh (talk) 17:13, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Thank for rewording abit User:Sänger (could maybe use a bit more). Missed that the new edit was not a preplacement of the old as proper indenting had not occurred. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:14, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
MIlosh, my appearance in this discussion is limited simply because I do not think I should be involved in this discusion at this time (maybe next time), but when I read Doc James' statement I did think that it was time to speak up. So yes, the comments are aimed exclusively at one candidate, but that is because I felt it was important to set the record straight. Fact is I have nothing to gain/lose from this conversation, yet felt the need to participate, and if you know me you can judge for yourself what conclusions to draw from that. The good news is that there are plenty of other good candidates who also disagree with me on several issues ;) (oh and let me just thank all those candidates for running and making their time available to serve in this role while I am at it :) Jan-Bart (talk) 18:35, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

arbitrary break[edit]

I'm deeply concerned that the main topics in this election seem to be whether Doc James is lying about his removal from the Board, and whether it's appropriate to describe WMF staff as part of an evil junta. Shouldn't we be talking about the future of the WMF and the movement not raking over the coals of what happened in 2015? Also, there are real evils in the world and let's not use that kind of language when talking about disputes within the Wikimedia movement. I think Superprotect was a serous mistake and I do not wish or expect WMF to do the same things again. I appreciate the anger and frustration many committed community members felt. But please, Sänger, let's not throw around language like "evil" or "putschist." Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 17:40, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

A "Putsch" is the use of power, one has because of technicalities as a trustee, against those, who legitimately have the power, but not technically. Here Eric abused his rights as a WMF-staffer against those with the only legitimate power, the community, that had democratically decided what's to do. Instead of doing what's right and what he was paid for, to support the community and get their decision implemented, he chose to use his factual power against the community, to get a, at that time useless and with heavy faults and license abuse contaminated, pet-project of a Co-Junta-Member (Fabrice) pushed down the throat of 2-3 communities that dare not to obey. He used his factual, but illegitimate, powers against the rightful owners of the power, and that's imho a Putsch. And such behaviour is per definition evil. Jan-Bart decided to align with the putschist, so he became one of them. And that was, what got the other community elected members ditched in the next elections, because they betrayed the communities in a very serious way. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 17:55, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
I sort of agree in part. It was an ill-judged and unfortunate use of WMF's "hard power", and I see WMF's role as working with the community not creating confrontations with it. But first, if you are going to shout at people, please don't shout at product-manager level staff who are mainly following the priorities set by the ED and the C-levels. And second, in the real world a putsch is something that costs many lives and ruins yet more, let's not use the same language about a dispute about product deployment. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:07, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
It didn't cost any life, that's right. It only cost several good authors, who had no intention to work any longer for such an arrogant and vain anti-community enterprise the WMF was at that time. I hope they will come back some time. It was and is not just a dispute about product deployment, it is and was a dispute about the role of the WMF as a service organization for the communities, and how some staffers got so greedy for power to actively act against the explicit will of the communities just to get their pet projects against valid concerns pushed through. It's about a mindset, that created SuperPutsch: "I can do it. I give a f*** about valid concerns. I am the boss. Obey, you suckers." This sentence describes precisely the thinking behind SuperPutsch, and Jan-Barts statements so far, just not so diplomatically dressed up. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:32, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
So when is it time to let go of this ? How many times or years of tar and feathering is enough before we stop wielding pitchforks at the entrance of the meeting room ? The only response you are evoking here is "him again with his 'superputsch'" and lets ignore him, or let's get the F. out. For someone so concerned about editors leaving at some point, you sure as hell don't seem to care about who else is leaving. Somewhere you are gonna have to turn your superprotect anger into a useful contribution towards governance, or we will never move forward. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
The WMF and The Board still have not formally apologized for the hostile actions against the communities. Yes, SuperProtect was more or less silently retracted, but that was just the far too late very minimum reaction about this outright declaration of war against the communities. I know, the main perpetrators are no longer in the WMF, neither on the board nor in C-Level positions, but the communities deserve an outright apology for this extreme hostilities against them. And no, not the communities were the source of the hostility, they were just defensive, the hostilities started with completely unacceptable aggressive behaviour of the WMF against the communities, and the board did absolutely nothing against the aggressors, so it was complicit with this aggression. And up to now it didn't apologize for this complicity. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 08:12, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it's quite correct to talk about the internal functioning of the board, otherwise how can one pick a candidate suitable for one's goals? In particular, one must be aware that a person who doesn't align (lato sensu) with the majority of the board may be unable to work within the existing decision-making progress and/or be irrelevant in the decisions/votes and/or be expelled. Nemo 11:10, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • The fact that kicking James off the board is still an open wound and never was adequately dealt with afterwards, speaks directly to either a) the incompetence of the current board, or b) its disdain for the editing community. I cannot know which it is, but neither is good. And the action and subsequent lack of action speak more than any words that are written here. The words written here are, in Jimbo's now immortal words, just fucking bullshit.
Was it not obvious to the WMF board, and upper WMF management for that matter, that the festering carcass of this matter was not going to just vanish? Of course people's attention has come back to this, and of course none of the pain around it has gone away. Anybody who gave a fuck or who had a glimmer of sense could have seen that the discussion above and elsewhere was going to happen, and was going to be ugly. Planners, my ass. Guiding the movement, my ass. Jytdog (talk) 21:39, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedians have long memories. I suspect the voting numbers will tell the tale this time around. At least from the EN-WP and DE-WP communities. Only in death (talk) 11:28, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Where is the discussion about the voting method?[edit]

The question have arisen why WMF have chosen the specific voting method we're using, and what were the considerations to pick that one, and what were the reasons not to use something else? --grin 06:34, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

I don't think the WMF made this decision - it was the community-run Election Committee (which was also operating under certain time pressure, it is the first year of its operating as a standing committee - a solution I've been recommending for a while, since it then a more systematic change can be introduced). Pundit (talk) 07:07, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Hopefully the Committee can look at this as part of the election wash-up and invite input. I've long thought a preference voting system would work better for us. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 09:13, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Many people have expresed that they prefer this current system over Schulze or other preferential vote system. I prefer this voting method, certainly. —MarcoAurelio 09:39, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Staying with the current system after careful consideration and deliberation is surely a valid outcome, too! Pundit (talk) 09:42, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I've not seen "many" people supporting the continuation of the experimentation, nor I see any consideration or deliberation at all, and in any case it is not a valid outcome to make irrational decisions. The status quo (transferable vote) should be restored unless and until some document is produced explaining how and why the experimentation worked and was proven to be sound (ideally with mathematical proofs of the method's ability to produce a result whatever the ballots). Nemo 09:49, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Nemo I was replying to Marco that IF and WHEN the Election Committee has this discussion, accepting the current system is also a valid outcome. I'm not saying that in my view the current system actually is the one that I believe will be the winner and a result of such careful deliberation. Probably not, and maybe the single transferable vote will - but many factors should be considered, transparency of the system, too. Pundit (talk) 13:13, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Agree, we should discuss and have a RfC to decide which system we as a movement wish to go with. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:25, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Sure, and the options should be vetted by some expert consultant on their ability to achieve the result. We can ask some friend entities which manage such votes, such as SPI or [heliosvoting.org], [www.polyas.com], [www.opavote.com], what their experience is.
Meanwhile, it's good to restore the status quo (Schulze method would be the easiest since it's already coded), since the "new" method was never validated or formally supported. There's nothing bad about scrapping the vote and restarting from scratch. Losing a few days is not a big deal, and most of the work can be kept (candidate presentation/discussion, translations and list of eligibile voters); we'd only need to remind those who voted that they need to vote again. It would be much worse to reach the end of the vote and discover that we don't have a result (which is very possible). Nemo 08:12, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
I'd suport the restoration (or whatever we would call it to use a proven voting system instead of a haphazard one) but possibly not when the voting have already started, and I guess the V-Committee members would possibly tend to agree. ;-) And most voters are possibly oblivious about voting methods and would not understand it. --grin 11:06, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

And, as a sidenote, we are going to have a real good real-life (anonymised) sample to test on. Possibly we already have some older samples as well. I would say testing these is trivial, like running datafiles against pyvote (or else). And the results may or may not show any differences, which could be analysed not only theoretically but to view it along the real data and considerations. I, for one, would really like to ask for the anonymised ballots and run it against various voting methods. --grin 11:02, 5 May 2017 (UTC) [update:] Well maybe not, since I have forgot that the ballots are not preferential. Shame. --grin 11:06, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Electoral system[edit]

It's depressing to see that, despite the past failures, we're still using an electoral non-system, rather than an actual electoral system (mathematically proven to be sound etc.). I would know how to vote if I had to rank the candidates, but with such an unpredictable non-system I'm forced to think what the others would vote, how the votes are going to be tallied and what meaning my vote will actually get. --Nemo 09:44, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

We should use a voting system that works for all, not only for math people. —MarcoAurelio 09:46, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
That's the problem, the current "system" is not proven to work. So only maths people can try and predict what could happen, while with preferences one just have to tell what their preferences are. Nemo 09:50, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure why it does not work. The current system is transparent and easier to use for many of us, included me. I am not opposing any investigation on bettering the system, but switching to a vote system where only very few people is able to understand how it works (and hence manipulate it) it's not something I will support. —MarcoAurelio 09:54, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I also have a problem with the non-transparency of some other systems. Ideally, we should have a system in which:
  1. people do not just vote for faces (as such a pageant privileges certain people, who do not have to have skills) or geography (people should not be elected because of being born in a country with a popular language),
  2. people can be voted for, but also opposed (to eliminate the problem of highly popular people who make disastrous decisions, and later are not punished for them in the elections),
  3. negative votes have some weight, but it is reasonable (not to promote tactical voting, also - negativity should not run the elections),
  4. there is an actual debate of ideas,
  5. candidates have to show their skills and expertise (also outside of the wiki world, as editing does not really help much in board governance, although it does give an insight into how our community works - but I'd dare say that 10k edits is usually enough for that),
  6. candidates have to compete basing on the skills needed in the Board work (argumentation, often oral).
We need to have a wider discussion about the objectives, and choosing a system that is clear but also fair is important. The current one has some flaws, but at least it is understandable by everyone and is not surprising in its mechanics Pundit (talk) 10:01, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Indeed - we need to think about the design of the whole electoral process - the voting system is only one part of that, though an obvious and important part of it. Being a bit of an election system geek I could go on at length on this subject but I'll save it for after the election (regardless of outcome :) ) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 10:29, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's definitely a better idea. Never Change a voting System while a current vote is on its way. If there is something unclear, it's better to get it straight before the actual election is running (we had some problem last time we elected OS in the deWP, because the system was completely unclear in the situation, and no admin/burocrat wanted to do anything about it), but if it's clear, and just not the best possible solution, don't change it while voting. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:55, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Obviously, no changes can be made after the elections have started. Pundit (talk) 14:38, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

I oppose using any electoral system where most voters don't understand the results. The current system is easy to understand and fair. --NaBUru38 (talk) 15:28, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

There are many other simple systems: e.g. just deducting negative votes from the total of positive votes (no, I don't think it is necessarily better than what we have, just giving an example). I think that before the next elections a larger reflection and discussion are needed. Pundit (talk) 15:33, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Fair and easy are usually contradictory terms. It's the business of populists to lure people with "easy" answers to complex questions, that in reality are just wrong. An easy tax system is usually not fair, as all special circumstances are eliminated. No, easy is usually the answer of the lazy, at least those too lazy to think. On the other hand, if it's too complex, people will not partake as well. Regarding elections, the easiest system is majority, but it's as well one of the unfairest. It completely lacks minority representation. Too elaborate systems, like "Kumulieren und Panaschieren", will get better representation, but less insight in the actual process. I'll go for fairness, not for simplicity. We are not a tabloid, we are an encyclopedia, we can do better then simple. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:02, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Sänger ♫ That's a fair point. Also, we can do decent job in preparing a good explanation of how things work. Pundit (talk) 08:27, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

This voting system (unlike just removing negative votes from the total of positive votes) is very bad because -- unless if all voters do vote tactically -- one negative vote is worth a lot of positive votes. During the last elections, one negative vote was worth 4-5 positive votes and the voting system heavily influenced the outcome of elections. Something similar will happen this time, as well.

This type of the voting system is in favor of the new candidates (thus, in theory to me, among others; but that's just theory :) ). The present Board members (both Dariusz and Maria) will get the standard share of negative votes, which would be much heavier than the positive votes they get. During the last elections, all three Board members have got approximately the same amount of negative votes and, unlike Sj, who got smaller amount of positive votes, both Maria and Phoebe would have been reelected in the most of the similar voting systems, while Denny have passed just because he had a lot of neutral votes. --Millosh (talk) 15:59, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it is possible. The previous elections were special, though - SJ, Phoebe and Maria received a lot of negative votes because of their lack of action when the SuperProtect disaster happened. Pundit (talk) 16:06, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
On the argument that voters should understand the results: I agree, but that can be easily achieved by using a software or external provider which produces good and pretty explanations: see for instance StackOverflow election results. Techniques should be decided based on our needs, not the other way round.
Nobody would argue that it's better to have their house built by inexperienced builders without any validated design just because they fear they wouldn't understand the static calculations made by an engineer. Everybody prefers to be sure the roof won't fall on their heads, which is a very understandable goal, even if it requires some advanced knowledge to achieve sufficient certainty. We ought to stop using this misleading argument. Nemo 08:06, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I get this argument. Pundit (talk) 13:39, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

@MarcoAurelio: (and others who said electoral systems should not be made for "math people") Please read Electoral system, it is an interesting and really non-math summary of the various attributes and expectations about an electoral system. We need maths to:

  • ba able to know the properties of a system (not just believeing in that it works, or accepting that it looks like working)
  • to be able to know that the system indeed satisfies those suspected attributes
  • to be able to know the strengths and weaknesses of a given system, to be able to properly assess the risks and understand the results
  • to be able to know how the system behaves when voters use various non-trivial approaches
  • to be able to know how the results correlate to the desire of the voting population.

So in general people should use a well-designed voting system with known (and proven, if possible) properties. It is usually not important for the voters to know how the maths work, but it may be important to know how the given system fights the various biases which may arise, or how it weights the various intentions during the voting. That is a textual summary, needs no maths.

It is generally really unwise to design (or even worse: just create) a new voting system without being deeply familiar with the maths, though.

Wikimedia is special: we are possibly the largest open content project in the world. What we do and pick becames more "important" than others, so when picking a method we not only should consider the general properties of a system but also what we would like to support to be popularised, or help a method to be used more widely. In case we could pick from several systems we ought to choose one which would be beneficial for the general public if used more widely. This is a responsibility, and we should not act like it wasn't so. Picking a well chosen and (mathematically) well proven system would help popularise a good system instead of possibly not that good systems we're currently use, as well as could possibly help the awareness of voting systems in people, who, as we see, believe that an "easy" system is better than a "math backed" (more complex) system, but oblivious about the very serious problems of said "simple" systems. And electoral systems with serious or undefined biases are not good systems. --grin 06:34, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

I was talking about a system which is easy to know how to use/vote. Obviously voting and mathematics are closely linked, and should be used when deciding which is the best system for this kind of elections; but what I have experienced, and many other people, when the Schultze method was used, is that I don't really knew what I was really voting. So if you decide to change the voting system for the next elections, please be sure to inform users in a KISS style how to vote, because I myself would abstain from voting if I don't really know what's going on. At least with this, I know that if I hit "support" or "oppose" I am indeed supporting and opposing candidates. And I repeat, I do not oppose investigating new voting methods as long as it is understandable for everyone how to vote and how their votes will be counted. —MarcoAurelio 20:41, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Schultze method (I believe the software already supports this), or any of the other other Condorcet method variants. We're not living in the 1600's anymore, voting systems are a well studied subject, and by most objective standards Condorcet produce more fair and accurate results than other voting methods. If we can't get enough support for that, then let's at least upgrade to Single Transferable Vote. It's not as good as Condorcet methods, but it's easier to explain&understand. Alsee (talk) 06:50, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Schulze method:
    Omegatron (talk) 17:35, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Voter guides and rationales[edit]

I am not sure where to drop a link for that. It is not a full-fledged voter guide - I didn't have time for that - but I do have a small rationale of my own voting and wanted to point to it. There is also one by Marcus Cyron, whom I respect very deeply, although he has a almost complete opposite of my view on this matter. It could be regarded helpful to collect links to other such documents, if they exist.

--denny (talk) 19:51, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Real time conversation between the candidates[edit]

Hi all,

After discussions on Facebook and offline, it came up on a number of occasions that there was a demand for some level of real time interaction between the candidates. This allows the candidates to enter into conversations with each other, and besides exchanging arguments, also demonstrate some skills that are highly relevant for a board setting: being able to have an intelligent discussion with your colleagues about the topics at hand.

I'll be approaching the candidates directly, but wanted to share here the outline as well:

  • Audio/video discussion in a single session, probably using Google Hangout. Aiming to be streamed live.
  • Total duration is aimed to be 60 minutes, possibly extended to max 90 min if need be (technical challenges, mindblowing conversations)
  • Video recorded for youtube/Commons (all participants agree to release under CC-BY)
  • Moderation of the conversations by Shani Evenstein
  • Candidates discuss/talk primarily with each other, it's not an interview.
  • Candidates are asked to keep their contributions brief (<30 seconds) and to the point.
  • To keep the conversations manageable, for each topic 3-5 candidates will be invited to speak in conversations of 5-10 minutes each. Distribution of the candidates and topics is up to the moderator/organizer.
  • Relevant board level topics will be selected and announced by the moderator/organizer 24h before the conversation. Community members (including candidates) can suggest topics up to that point.

The date/time will be picked based on candidate & moderator availability. It will happen if at least 7 of the 9 candidates confirm their participation. The latest moment for this to happen this year is Tuesday, 9 May.

I would like to invite community members to share their suggestions for somewhat broad topics that could also be relevant on a board agenda (candidates are welcome to make suggestions too), Shani and I plan to choose a set of topics ~24 hours before the scheduled meeting. I invite the election committee to, if they like, delegate one of their members to monitor the distribution process in which we determine which candidates participate in which topic - to certify no unfair strategizing takes place there.

I'll make sure we post the date/time/venue here, once set.

Looking forward to a healthy and hopefully constructive conversation, Effeietsanders (talk) 19:55, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

I hate that idea. This kind of "Leader's Debate" is show business at its worst. I can't see that this is good for a deliberate and careful voting decision. It will only set a prize for the best actors. --Mautpreller (talk) 20:31, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your constructive thoughts, Mautpreller. I hope that a diverse approach with regards to available information will help everyone to make their optimal choice. I would definitely use more insight in interactions and exchange of arguments in my decision making, but I can totally see that this may be different for you. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:05, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
I am working on something similar and will update with more data once i have it. Matanya (talk) 21:39, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
A short update in case people are wondering: user:Matanya and I discussed and it turns out that the Election Committee was also planning on organizing something similar. I expect they will announce any moment now the details, time and method of the meeting. We decided, given the timescale, not to compete with similar concepts, and I'll be looking forward to viewing the discussions organized by the committee. Effeietsanders (talk) 19:09, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Aye, for the record this will go out today and be posted both here and on Wikimedia-l at the least. I'm working to get a youtube stream setup in advance so that we can include a link to it in communications. The session will happen at 17 UTC on Sunday the 7th and will be broadcast via Youtube (the candidates and Matanya will be on hangout). All but one candidate is expected to be able to attend at least part. A back channel will be setup via IRC on #wikimedia-office (and likely the youtube comments). Jalexander--WMF 20:01, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

What's a "Ballot Dump"?[edit]

What's this empty page about? I fail to see any meaningful explanation for it. Can someone please enlighten me? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 20:39, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Last year's page ought to help. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 20:42, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
So the German Translation (Anonymisierte Stimmzettelabgabe) is a bit misleading imho, Now where can I find that Phrase in the heap of translated stuff ;) If someone finds it somewhere, could you please insert Anonymisierte Stimmzettelliste instead? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 08:38, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Been there, done that. I found it through ordinary search, once I saw the check-boxes for translations on the far right side. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:15, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Done

Importance of the requirements that were set out in the Call for Candidates[edit]

It's really frustrating that while the call for candidates set out a very sensible bullet point list of required candidate characteristics and experience, the election procedure makes it almost impossible for voters to assess candidates against those requirements. The stated requirements were:

  • Have high integrity, the ability to stand up for a point, to resist pressure, think independently and be able to reach consensus;
  • Have deep subject matter expertise in technology & product, strategy, finance, board governance or have some significant professional experience in the areas important for the Board's work;
  • Have reasonable management experience (teaching, people management, project management, larger non-profit board experience, especially those of international organizations, etc.);
  • Have experience from other boards or management positions, especially at non-profit or FLOSS organization​s;
  • Add to the diversity in some ways or have a proven track of activism in the area of diversity - including gender identity and expression, geography, sexual orientation, different cultural experience, different income experience, race, religion, family status, physical and mental abilities, etc).

Unfortunately, the candidate presentation template bears very little relationship to those requirements of the job, and positively encourages candidates to talk about other things such as 'online wiki work' (read 'boasting about high edit-count') which are of much less importance for intending members of a strategic oversight board of a major international non-profit.

Even worse, it's apparently not possible to ask candidates to expand on how their characteristics and experience measure up to the detailed requirements of the job description. The only community query relating to that seems to have been eliminated at some point in favour of a variety of re-written questions, many of which (such as as "why should we trust you?") are not useful in a job-interview as they are incapable of eliciting responses which can meaningfully distinguish between the candidates.

Perhaps this could be taken into account for next time, and used to improve the procedure for the next election. MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:47, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Yup, I found it frustrating, I even had to use the "off wiki experience" section for actual expertise and experience, as there was no place to put it. I made it clear that I've proven to stand up for a point, and tried to describe my professional expertise, other boards and managerial experience, as well as diversity activism and contribution - all within a strict length limit :( Pundit (talk) 19:23, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Human resources and management of the executive director?[edit]

During the last board selection, I asked what the top responsibilities of the board were. Admittedly the question was late, but only one candidate mentioned human resources or the ED.

So: what do the current candidates think the board's responsibilities are with regards to HR and the ED? What skills and experience will you bring on this issue? What would you like to see the board do in this area once you join it?

To be absolutely clear, since I'm sure someone will ask: this is not a criticism of Katherine; I think she was a terrific choice and have heard nothing but good things about her leadership. But this period of stability should be a good opportunity for the board to re-evaluate its HR processes so that they can be prepared for the day, hopefully far in the future, when Katherine moves on. Signed on behalf of User:LuisVilla

I also agree Katherine is an excellent pick as ED, in fact we should have chosen her sooner :-) The board's most important role is to hire an excellent ED, guide one who is struggling, and remove an ED who is not suitable for the movement. With respect to HR and ED oversight a number of processes I think would be useful:
a) The board needs to do exit interviews of managers and C level staff.
b) Staff engagement surveys are needed on a yearly basis.
c) Staff need clear methods of communicating with the board, so the board is made aware earlier if issues were to occur. Anonymous methods of reporting would also be useful. While we have a whistle blower policy this only applies to illegal stuff. We need methods for other concerns as well.
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:53, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

First of all, I am completely aware that managing large formal organizations is not my exact expertise. So, in relation to the best practices, I would definitely have to rely on either Board members with specific expertise or, if the Board doesn't have such members, to the outside expertise.

However, I do have experience in leading the groups and, in relation to the human relations, it's about quite similar concepts.

Listening to everybody's voice is something I am doing regularly and I would definitely listen to the voices of employees. I mean, if you are listening, you don't need to be particularly clever or particularly expert to realize that something wrong is going on. And, having that institutionalized per James' (c) would be definitely preferable.

At the other side, the methods above are reactive (including James' (a) and (b)), no matter how small the issue could be and no matter they could be the only realistic methods in fine tuning the organization. If possible, if not drastic and if the good atmosphere could be preserved, I would like to see if it's possible to do something proactive.

One of the proactive methods could be articulated organization of the WMF employees. Employees themselves should have their own organized voice and fight for their own status, as long as it's not against the WMF itself, its mission and the movement. --Millosh (talk) 01:33, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi User:LuisVilla! Hope you're well. I think here it's easy for Board candidates to say the right things, but not many have actual experience of doing them successfully. This is one of the cases where I've "seen the elephant", so to speak. Wikimedia UK's had 3 EDs while I was on the Board there (2 permanent, one interim); I was involved in the recruitment of all of them and managed one of them directly when I was Chair. I also worked pretty closely with Sue Gardner (we didn't agree on many issues, but we had a lot of respect for each other ;) ) Some learning points for me from that experience, that go beyond the generic "you should have an appraisal" or "the Board should look at staff survey results" points:
Look closely at how the ED communicates. Each time we recruited at Wikimedia UK we put more emphasis on "soft skills" in our decisions. EDs need to be open to feedback, exceptional listeners, great at reflecting on their own decisions and behaviour, and have a high level of integrity and accountability. Defensiveness, making issues all everyone else's fault, failing to value others, inconsistency and incoherence are all strong indicators that someone is failing in the role. (This also applies to Board members, separate conversation.) Two examples here:
  1. In our last recruitment process we invited candidates to speak to staff and volunteers before the final interviews. We then asked something like "what will be your priorities when you start". Naturally, all the candidates gave answers that reflected back our existing view of their priorities that we'd put in the job description, candidate briefing, and so on. However, the strongest candidate (and the one who got the job) was the one who added to that based on their conversations with everyone else and showed real insight into what staff and volunteers were thinking and feeling. Next example:
  2. I remember watching some kind of IRC metrics meeting that was right at the start of Lila's time as WMF ED. Someone in the mid-grades of WMF staff was talking through various metrics related to Visual Editor (I think it was, I may be wrong on that detail). I was struck that Lila's input to the conversation seemed to me to be very much "This number needs to be higher" or "You need to look at this as well" - not valuing, not appreciating the work of the staff members that were presenting. I was left feeling that if I was working on that project I would probably leave the meeting feeling bruised. I thought it was a bit odd at the time, but post-Lila's departure I had a bit of an "aha" moment; yes, you can get a useful signal about someone from their manner in one conversation.
If you've got to sort out a problem, do it quickly. The natural human instinct is to disregard information that doesn't fit your existing view. As a trustee, my experience is that it's best to do the opposite; if there is a sign of the ED performing poorly you need to zoom in on that right away, even if from your own perspective everything is going fine. If the Board finds itself having a serious debate about the ED's performance, they probably need to go as quickly as you can handle the necessary process to sack them without creating excessive legal liability. Extended remedial periods tend to just drag out the agony for all involved.
Set up formal processes. The ED should know when their appraisal will be, 6 months in advance. The process for doing it should be documented. The process for what in English law is a "workplace grievance" - i.e. how to formally tell your employer something like "my manager is crap and it's stressing me out" and ask them to remedy the situation - needs to be documented, understood, and then used. This was part of my feedback after Lila's departure and I don't think it's happened. It needs to.
Hope this is useful! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 07:15, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
I especially liked your point that «natural human instinct is to disregard information that doesn't fit your existing view». The WMF board definitely needs to get better in this regard. Assessing soft skills is something everybody claims to do but everybody reaches different conclusions. Nemo 11:24, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Luis, given our past misfortunes and slips with HR I think this question is particularly valid. I believe that one of the top responsibilities of the Board is overseeing the ED performance. The Board can and should request reports on different metrics, including not only external performance but also the internal one (such as the staff satisfaction surveys). It is the Board's responsibility to make sure that there are channels for reporting bad behavior and bad performance, in particular if they are related to the ED. Specifically, the Board has to make sure that its HR committee is not just passive, but open to signals, and proactive when early warnings show. It is my belief that it is the Board's duty to perform independent interviews and investigations if extraordinary circumstances arise, for instance when dissenting voices are stifled or when the organizational climate is such that the staff is afraid to speak up. It is also my firm belief that any restrictions on communication with the Board members for reporting extraordinary circumstances are dangerous (while I also think that this path should not be abused for regular issues). Requiring people to stick only to official communication channels at all times is an early sign of authoritarian closing. I believe that it is the HR committee, but also the Board's duty to react to all warning signs, external and internal, and if they go out of scale - to act immediately.
  • The changes that I'd like to see? I think we already are in a much better shape than we were, but I'd also like all staff members to be made repeatedly aware that talking to Board members is not forbidden, that sharing ideas is good, and expressing genuine concern is appreciated. I definitely hope they know that and yet I think that emphasizing and reinforcing the culture of dialogue is important. I'd like to have an HR staff survey done as a part of our annual performance reporting. I'd also like the idea of having an independent Board governance review, which I have supported strongly for over a year, to be implemented (to be clear: it is not opposed, steps are taken, I just would like to finally see it happen, as there is never a perfect time to do it and waiting makes no sense too long).
  • The skills I bring? A lot of experience in seeing how things can fail (it is useful! in fact, priceless, although coming at huge cost). Also, quite a bit of experience in organizational diagnostics (I've done organizational analysis, I have conducted interviews and surveys). I have zero experience in US labor law and related regulations, and I have a very basic understanding of American HR best practices (although I've read quite a lot about organizations with best practices that don't work - in the spirit of Arlie Hochschild's The Time Bind). Pundit (talk) 07:29, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
@The Land, your 2nd point is an interesting observation. I remember it exactly like you do and have experienced similar aha moments after that event. For instance I remember that Lila talked to me at the Dev summit in january that year (total staff implosion being imminent unbeknownst to me [though I knew that it wasn't totally peachy]), and that all the staff I talked to was somewhat gobsmacked that 1. she had talked to me, and 2. that I actually had a nice conversation with her. This suddenly clicked a month or so later, where I realised, that she had only talked to people she 'didn't know' during the entire time she was present. Not for reasons of being inclusive, but to avoid having to talk to her staff (about 90% of that event was staff). It was a new experience to me that a signal for inclusivity of 'outsiders' could also be a signal for the exclusion of 'insiders'. Amazing in hindsight. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:45, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
This interpretation of the fact and her intentions seems quite teleological. Nemo 11:24, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Vote submission fails ("You must log in to vote in this election")[edit]

Submitting my vote failed with the following error:

You must log in to vote in this election - please try following the link from your Special:SecurePoll on your local Wikimedia site.

I was able to vote after using a link from the French Wikipedia, and I managed to recover the vote form I had filled, but I doubt the average Wikimedian would. --Chealer (talk) 20:31, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

candidates debate on Youtube[edit]

Available here, thanks to the Election Committee and the staff for such a seamless and professional execution! Pundit (talk) 21:14, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedians are Amazing people[edit]

And we need to be branding ourselves as such.

We have a statement from the prior chair of the board of the WMF User:Jan-Bart that in my opinion contains a fair number of falsehoods and false dichotomies. I have never properly responded to it and I would like to now. We are not being "pass[ed]... by left and right". Generating false fear in an effort to get through an agenda was not cool. Wikipedia has more or less maintained its position among the top websites over the last 5 years. In fact we have moved up a bit per Alexa.

While this is true "We have to get better at software development, roll-out, and user adoption." This does NOT mean we as a movement MUST accept roll-out of software without questioning it or that we CANNOT reject the bad bits. We need communities who reject the bad bits and we need to have our communities involvement in software development so less bad bits occur in the first place.

We all "want to attract new editors". Claims that some within the communities do not needs to stop. While people who make a couple of edits are nice they are not enough. We also need to grow and sustain our core communities of editors. These are the people who edit day in and day out and they are key to our existence. I am exceedingly proud to be among their number.

Additionally we are generally NOT geeks or social misfits and I cringe whenever people call us that. In fact when it comes, to the core medical editors, the majority are healthcare professionals. About half of us have either a PhD or MD and another third have a BSc. How do I know this? I asked them and than published the results. I image this also applies to the core communities in many other topic areas.

We do not need to move faster. Moving fast breaks stuff. We do not want or need "dogfood". We need to move slowly and carefully together. And to do so we need to listen to each other. We must never again plan major strategy in secret and without each other.

We must treat each other with respect. We must treat each other as the AMAZING people that we are. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:13, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure you'd find much disagreement with what you're saying from the current Board candidates - or indeed from anyone on the current Board. After all, WMF is not currently moving fast and breaking things, is not calling community members misfits, and is not planning its strategy in secret - quite the opposite; and none of the candidates in this election is saying any of those things are a good idea. But are you actually responding to that post of Jan-Bart's from 3 years ago, or this one from last night? Regards, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 15:35, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
I am referring to both the prior statement and his recent comments. Yes we have seen a lot of change in the board recently so I imagine disagreement is significantly less :-) And yes we have seen a lot of positive improvements in the foundation lately of which I played at least some role. I am fairly sure I will not have difficulty working with the current board if elected. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:43, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Pray tell James, which improvements over the last twelve months would you attribute to yourself in some part and what exactly was your role in bringing them about? Seddon (talk) 16:04, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
One improvement was the removal of superprotect.
The timeline for the other is here. But basically I pushed for a new ED both when I was on and off the board. And I supported our current ED replacing her as interim.
I also supported transparency around the Knowledge Engine as explained in this Signpost article.[ Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:13, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
A little context: the statement by Jan-Bart that James is linking to, is from 2014. Not anything recent, as some might assume when reading this. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:35, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes thanks User:Effeietsanders, this simply provides some context for when I was on the board as a fair number of questions have been asking about that time period. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:38, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the WMF board, especially together with Sue Gardner, has worked very hard for many years to mortify Wikimedia editors and volunteers, so it's not inappropriate to state one's wish for something different. It's possible that thousands of voters still think that the WMF board is going to be the body which just insults them. Nemo 07:28, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Where are the voter qualifications?[edit]

I was denied voting with no explanation. What are the qualifications to be able to vote? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Darth Borehd (talk) 17:56, 11. Mai 2017

Here Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:38, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes your total edits is only 208 and you need 300[22] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:57, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Board voter email[edit]

I received this email in English for an alternate account. Are "normal" accounts receiving the email in their own language? I see lists.wikimedia.org is being used this time and the message has Message-ID: <[email protected]>, does that mean the "home wiki" for CentralAuth was followed? --Nemo 05:55, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Better late than never?[edit]

Is there any particular reason that a user would receive an email notification of eligibility to vote nine days after the voting period began, a mere four days before the voting period was set to end, and seven days after they'd already voted? Rivertorch (talk) 07:02, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

I guess that it is basically a too late notification, but on the other hand it is better to communicate with all eligible voters than allow profiling (checking who voted or not before sending the message), no? Pundit (talk) 07:20, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Just reminding by email those who have not yet voted that they can would likely have been sufficient. People with alt accounts would of course still receive a reminder. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:29, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Election committee is doing that every election around this time in the process. But it seems to me as a better idea to send the email once at the beginning and maybe once a couple of days before the end of elections. --Millosh (talk) 15:59, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Or just at the beginning. In my case, I saw the site notice at the top of my watchlist, so the email would have been redundant even if it had arrived earlier. But as a general principle, for those of us who actually take time to research the candidates and are juggling their Wiki-whatever activities with other tasks, four days before the end of the voting period is way too late. (Another factor: some of us don't check our Wiki email every day.) @Pundit: Not really. If an email is going to be sent out so late, it should be technically feasible to weed out those who who have already voted, and I can't think why that would be a problem for anyone. Rivertorch (talk) 17:39, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I think nobody would die if EC sends 3-5 emails during the whole process in the course of 3-5 months: (1) Election process has begun, you can nominate yourself and ask the questions. (2) Candidates answer the questions. (3) Voting has begun. (4) Last chance to vote! --Millosh (talk) 17:55, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
(editconflict with Millosh) I'm sure this will be helpful feedback for the Elections Committee when they review everything. And while I agree with your points, it does seem that the voter emails were sent earlier in the process this time than in 2015, if you look at the graph here - the bump is quite clear! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 17:58, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
It's always a tough question. Milosh and Chris are right that this is roughly when we send it out each year. I actually wanted to send it out a couple days extra early (On Monday) but was delayed because we wanted to add a paragraph in about the Movement Strategy process and those pages weren't ready yet. One of the biggest reasons for waiting until later in the election for the email campaign is that we've historically tried to space out our major alerts to try and balance annoyance with reminders. For example the banners started immediately (and are still going, though I just added a highlighter to it), the mass message went out a couple days after that and then emails to mailing lists and the chapters/staff and then we did the mass emails this week. I think sending out more emails is a possibility the committee could certainly consider. Obviously we have to balance reminding people with annoying them but we've had a lot less complaints this year about emails then we have in the past so maybe that's ok. Part of that is probably that we sent it out in more languages then we've ever done before and hopefully that will just continue to grow.
For the record I did actually dedupe the emails out both to not send multiple per email and not to send it to people who have already voted. Of course there are always exceptions that get in there. For example @Rivertorch: your evil twin actually was the intended recipient for that email rather then your main account ;) we could probably try and make that better next time. Jalexander--WMF 00:46, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah, I forgot his email was enabled. Oops! ;) Thanks for the clarification, Jalexander. In light of this revelation, I'll just say that I'm never bothered by multiple emails if they're about something important. I know, I know—that's subjective, but anybody clueless enough to think elections aren't important is probably still capable of deleting unwanted emails and living with their annoyance. Rivertorch (talk) 05:30, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
@Jalexander-WMF: I think the main reason for less complaints is the option to unsubscribe from the list, which, obviously, the most irritated Wikimedians used immediately during the last elections. It's also about increased tolerance towards getting emails into inbox :) "Click here to unsubscribe just until the end of the current elections" could be helpful with a couple of emails per election cycle. --Millosh (talk) 09:50, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Hello, I think that voters should be notified before voting begins. This would encourage voters to ask questions to candidates and discuss answers. --NaBUru38 (talk) 01:58, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

  • While this will be the last time for a while that FDC and Board elections coincide (the next time will be in 6 years), I just want to point out that receiving three emails for a single election will make a LOT of people unhappy; there are plenty of complaints when they receive just one. If the suggestion above had been activated this year, it would have meant six separate emails being sent out to people over the course of about as many weeks - each of them being translated into dozens of languages; it may not be the best use of time of our volunteer translators, and would otherwise be extremely expensive. I think one "please vote" email for each election should be sufficient, with the knowledge that the users may vote between the time the email list is run and the time the email is sent. Risker (talk) 01:45, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Voting instructions edit[edit]

Current instructions read:

The default vote for all candidates is "neutral". Please indicate below which candidates you support or oppose. You do not have to enter a vote for all candidates.

Replace with:

Indicate for each candidate whether you support, oppose, or are neutral to that candidate. Leaving a candidate blank gives them “Neutral.”
(I would consider emphasizing the second sentence)

Problems I see with the current instructions:

  1. There would be no need for a “Neutral" column because a voter following the instructions would never use that column.
  2. Rather than state in the negative "you do not have to", better to instruct the voter in the affirmative.
  3. The two statements are contradictory (or at odds) “default vote is neutral” and “you do not have to enter a vote.” It is impossible not to enter (i.e. submit) a vote because the default vote is neutral which is a vote.* Indicating "Neutral" for a candidate rather than the lowest rating "Oppose" can cause a supported candidate to lose.
  • Axiomatically the voting system elects certain candidates at the exclusion of others, based on their relative scores (not absolute). A “Neutral” vote causes a distinctly higher (or equal) score than “Oppose”, while it simultaneously causes a distinctly lower (or equal) score than “Support.”

Filingpro (talk) 02:55, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. I don't think we want to change it right now for 'this' election since we're close to the end, don't want to have different voters have a different experience and don't have it translated in the new format. We'll definitely make sure it's in the feedback for the committee to consider for the next election however. Jalexander--WMF 03:13, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. Thank you for forwarding the feedback. Filingpro (talk) 17:56, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Hello, I disagree with having the neutral vote by not selecting any option. Each voting option should be obviously visible. This proposal would hide the option to voters. --NaBUru38 (talk) 02:02, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Which proposal? The text proposed by Filingpro uncovers the meaning of not clicking a radio button. (In general, this electoral non-system betrays the voters by assigning undeclared and unpredictable meanings to their ballots. The only real solution is to use an actual electoral system, but at least the descriptions could be clearer.) --Nemo 07:24, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Hello, not clicking a radio button should result in an error, am I right? --NaBUru38 (talk) 21:05, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Grey on grey logo[edit]

The current banner has a weird and bleak logo, completely grey on a grey background. Why confuse and depress voters with such experiments? --Nemo 10:59, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

The monochromatic logo styling is that of the official logo of the Wikimedia Foundation, which you've asked about before. It's appropriate for topics specifically involving the Wikimedia Foundation such as the board election but we use the community logo, tricoleur wikimedia logo or other appropriate logos for other banners as is deemed appropriate. Seddon (WMF) (talk) 16:03, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Community?[edit]

Why is it than when I hear someone express zir concern for the community, I think of the child-catcher from Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang? One candidate mentioned editors, and he zir was the only one who got my vote. Medeis (talk) 01:00, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi Medeis, I don't know this reference - but I think it is mainly the language issue. The "community" includes e.g. coders, bot developers, etc. I think that the editors are a vital group for our movement - and honestly, I'd be surprised if any of the candidates stated otherwise. I'd beg you to reconsider if just a word mentioning was the only reason for your choice :) There are e.g. differences in how people approach editors in different language communities - for years I've been a proponent of fast propagation of cool tools from en-wiki to other projects, exactly to make editor life easier. One great example of hoq it can be done is the recent addition of semi-atomatic book reference adding for all projects with Citoid. Pundit (talk) 12:40, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

20 May: Goal for announcement of results[edit]

We're waiting. Marcus Cyron (talk) 18:05, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

me too,we need the results..... (BTW what happened to the Signpost?)--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 18:57, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I think we are close. The results will be released soon. Ruslik (talk) 19:00, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Where do I find the results? The page for results is blank, and it says results should have been posted today. --Joalpe (talk) 23:52, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
The results have been posted. Matanya (talk) 00:05, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Congrat![edit]

Moved from Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Results. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 06:32, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

This is just to congratulate our 3 candidats who were supported. Think that they will do mucher better than ever on the board. BamLifa (talk) 06:08, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

ThanksDoc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:02, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

How can the election process be changed to real elections?[edit]

Up to now, what we have just done, is a mere slate for the inbreeding process of appointing the members by the board itself. How this can be misused to get rid of rightful elected but inconvenient members could be seen in December 2015 with the demotion of Doc James. The community selected members should become real elected members, that's the only valid way to get the seats filled. How can this important and necessary change be fixed? Is it something, the board itself has to do? Can we make a binding RfC about it? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:00, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I plan to request the legal departments opinion on the best way to do this. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:12, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
It requires dramatic change in the bylaws. Right now, the only Members of the Wikimedia Foundation are members of the Board of Trustees; this is actually very standard for charity organizations, not only in the US but around the "Global North" world. The governing legislation under which the WMF exists requires that members be identifiable, and that is antithetical to the anonymity provisions of the Wikimedia Foundation. This also becomes a challenge in verifying identity of the members. It is unlikely that more than half of the 5500 individuals who voted this time would be willing to provide proof of identity (which would need to be retained), and it should be noted that only about 10% of editors eligible to vote actually did so. Thus, we'd be talking about over 55,000 people needing to submit proof of identity to vote in an election. Of course, that is only necessary to make the Wikimedia Foundation a democratic institution, and I'd put you to strict proof to demonstrate that it is beneficial to the organization and the movement to become so.

The other issue of which you speak, which is the ability of the Board to remove a member, is also enshrined in governing legislation. All organizations need to have the ability to not be required to accept as a board member someone who doesn't meet security or financial clearances; the Board also has to have the ability to remove people who are not performing their duties, have acted in a conflict of interest, have brought the organization into disrepute (which would include actions taken as an individual rather than as a member of the Board), have behaved in a way that is disruptive to the effective management of the organization, or have violated codes of conduct. I get that people are upset that Doc James was removed, and I have no knowledge of the reason that he was removed; it's clearly something in dispute. But preventing another Doc James from being removed would also mean preventing the removal of someone who is truly harming the organization - for example a criminal or someone who has used their membership on the Board for their personal financial gain. Outside of a very small group of people (remember, only about 55,000 people eligible to vote, and only 5500 actual voters), nobody cares provided the organization meets it relevant legislative requirements. It's important to us, but not to the majority of active Wikimedians, and certainly not to our readers. Risker (talk) 21:39, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I think you are wrong there, it is not true that nobody cares. This is a vital part of a real "bottom-up" organisation. Now the impression of many active Wikipedians is that the WMF simply does what it wants to do, without any consideration of community requirements, and I think this impression is generally correct. This lack of legitimation is a very severe problem. I am not convinced that there is no solution to this. One possibility is to have communities as members, with the idea that an elected number of users represents each community. Another solution is that identification is only given to authorities under strict rules of data protection. I think that you are lacking in imagination. Maybe, though, the reason for this is that the WMF does not want to change anything and is happy with its ability to decide whatever they want. In this case, the problem might not be lack of imagination but lack of willingness.--Mautpreller (talk) 09:48, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
PS: You say: Right now, the only Members of the Wikimedia Foundation are members of the Board of Trustees; this is actually very standard for charity organizations, not only in the US but around the "Global North" world. How is it possible then that I can be a member of Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and so on and so on? How is it possible that institutions like the Forest Stewardship Council have "corporated" members? No, I certainly don't agree that this is "actually very standard for charity organizations", not even in the U.S.--Mautpreller (talk) 10:02, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Just to note, this is how the international boards of the organizations you mention are elected: Amnesty International - elected at meeting of International Council, which is made up of the national organizations, no direct membership franchise. Greenpeace - elected by the Council which is made up of representatives of national/regional organizations, no direct membership franchise. The Forest Stewardship Council - elected by members using a weighted ballot; the ballots of organizations (e.g., forestry companies, retailers, environmental groups) are weighted more heavily than those of individual members, and both organizations and individuals must apply for membership, it is not possible to be a member without organizational approval. I am not very fussy on any of these models; Greenpeace and Amnesty International would be similar to having chapters select the entire board, and the requirement to apply for membership in order to participate in the organization at any level is also quite contrary to the Wikimedia way of doing things. As to personal information, I'll just point to Yahoo, Walmart, and dozens of other organizations that have been hacked for their membership information. Many of those organizations did and do abide by industry-standard data protection rules. It only takes a few people getting a virus/worm/cyberattack, and it can spread through a system in no time. Just as the UK's National Health System. Risker (talk) 17:26, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
This is exactly one of the solutions I suggested: You can be a member of the national organization which is, again, a member of the international council. This is not the same as the "Chapters" since the Chapters are anything else but the Communities, they often have virtually nothing to do with them. It simply means that you have to have an institutional representation of the communities (as Millosh pointed out very clearly). Now this is simply not the case. Whereas the communities do the work and produce the reputation, they have no voice at all in the power structure. Which is clearly to be seen in the Strategy Process. In order to ensure an institutional voice for the communities you have to use your imagination. This is what we should think about.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:17, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I cannot imagine the purpose of a national organization that doesn't do what the chapters do. What would be their point? There are only Board elections every three years, so they'd have to do more than just exist for Trustee elections. Seems to me that would seriously dilute the ability of individual community members to identify their preferred Trustee candidates. Something to keep in mind: historically, there have usually been between 15 and 20 candidates for the Board elections; this year we only had 9. Why do you think that is? Let's talk about that, which actually is a much more significant issue. Where did all our candidates go? Where were the quixotic candidates? For that matter, where are the FDC candidates, with the nomination page open for over a week, and the nomination period ending six days from now? (I am aware of 3 or 4 people who have told me they will be putting their names forward, but there are 5 open seats, so more candidates are required regardless.) The concern I have is that people are coming to see these leadership roles as a lot of work with very little appreciation, a non-negligible amount of harassment, and a very significant amount of responsibility for a volunteer. I can't help but wonder if we would have had more Board candidates if those who decided not to run had known the questions they'd be answering would be crafted by the Election Committee based on community question suggestions; the 10 questions this time were reasonable, whereas the previous elections have had 30+ questions. Risker (talk) 00:47, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
We need community representation, not lobby organizations for "free knowledge". The chapters will never represent communities so we'll have to find a new organizational form. Maybe something like a works council. This might help. "Harrassment" - on the talk page of the elections, I saw only harrassment on the part of former trustees. And what is more important, the questions to the candidates were simply anything but community questions (which is the fault of the Election Committee). I should think that for a trustee it is vital to be confronted with the communities with all their reasonable and unreasonable wishes, interests, requirements, demands, and so on. Pity for leaders? No I don't think that's the best idea.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:05, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
PS: I have nothing against lobby organizations. But they are not and cannot be representational organizations. That's what we need, however.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:52, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Moreover, even an organization of the current form of WMF could incur a binding obligation to respect the results of elections. It is not a problem that the Board can get rid of an impostor, criminal, fraud, or things like that. However, if it is enough that the Board thinks a person acts "disruptive to the effective management of the organization", this is a very severe problem. Disruption can be very useful, effective management is a very ambiguous term. This paves the way to get rid of any opposition. I am sure that this kind of binding obligation is possible since I am a member of a non-profit organization where such rules are valid.--Mautpreller (talk) 10:32, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
It's a problem if the bylaws require the board to accept a member who is an imposter, criminal, fraud, etc., which is what you are advocating. That they'd have to allow that person membership before removing them is a bit ridiculous. Risker (talk) 17:26, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
No, it is not. These reasons are okay but definitely not removal "without cause" or because of "disruption to effective management".--Mautpreller (talk) 08:17, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Having a board were 6 members are able to remove the other 4, without requiring some degree of oversight by the wider community exposes us to a fair degree of risk. This IMO is more about improving checks and balances than necessarily putting in place a fully elected by board.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:01, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
The bylaw section is compliant with the legislation; this is where getting a legal opinion would be useful. For example, what would be the implications for the organization if modified its removal bylaw? Risker (talk) 17:26, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
The organization is a service entity for the community, whose sole purpose is to help the communities with the creation of the projects, in areas where a bit of professionalism could be useful for such a huge scheme. The WMF has no right to exist on its own, it has no inherent purpose. This has to be the base for any bylaw, making the WMF as something on its own course is plain wrong, completely, utterly wrong. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:26, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Working in coordination with individual volunteers and specific organizations is one (very important) aspect of the purpose of the organization, but it is not the sole purpose. See the mission statement, which outlines broader organizational purpose. One of those purposes is to maintain the information gathered available on the internet in perpetuity; that is what the endowment fund is set up to do, and a good argument could be made that this particular responsibility is not directly linked to volunteers or other organizations. Another is developing and maintaining infrastructure and providing organizational support in order for the projects to operate. Risker (talk) 18:43, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
But that's all just on behalf of the communities, because the community is too big to be organized like a group of lets say a few hundred. Only because the community needed a bit professionalism for certain purposes, it was necessary to create an official organisation like the WMF as a necessary evil. No, the WMF has absolutely no purpose on its own, its just an entity sujugated to the communities on their behalf for their help, nothing else. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:27, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm. I thought it was on behalf of the readers and users, and that the communities and the WMF are in service to them. There's no point whatsoever in what our "communities" and editors do if nobody reads or uses the material. Risker (talk) 00:51, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
But the readers do that. Why? Not because we are "in service to them" but because we (as the editors) have something to say to them. Calling in "the readers and users" as a stakeholder group does not help at all because they are not a group. This can only lead to paternalism. You can say what you do is "for the readers" but that doesn't mean a thing.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:11, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
That's right. I as well don't have anything in particular against appointed board members (if they fit to our social and educational Enterprise, unlike Aarnon), perhaps just the ratio elected/appointed could be a bit more leaning towards elected, now it's 5:5 at best. But the threshold for getting rid of proper validated and elected members (both partners and community), and that of just appointed expert members, should be very different. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:11, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Before we dive into legal processes, perhaps it is good to take a step back and reflect what exactly we would like to accomplish with this process. Is it about ensuring a perspective in the board, ensuring a set of skills, about giving the community the feeling that they matter, is it for PR, or is it that we want a backup mechanism if all else fails? There are multiple approaches to that all. And at this point, I'm not even confident we have nailed down the right process to select people to accomplish those goals. To me, it is much more important that we select the right people than whether the outcome is legally enforcable. Effeietsanders (talk) 19:06, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
In my view this is not at all about "feeling". The WMF uses the volunteers' work for actions that have nothing whatsoever to do with their ideas, options, wishes, and interests. This is wrong. We need a change of politics. Less fundraising, less technological gimmicks, less "importance fishing" - more support of encyclopedic work, knowledge transfer, reliability, empowerment. This is one opinion, I know that, there are others. But this opinion has a (strong) voice in the communities and wikis, it has no voice in the WMF power structure. This is fundamentally wrong. --Mautpreller (talk) 08:26, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
PS: I am glad about the election of Dariusz and James because I honestly believe that they will do their best to represent community interests. But this is not enough. The communities (as such) need an institutional position of power in the Foundation.--Mautpreller (talk) 08:33, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your motivation. This is however mostly a political motivation - what I extract from it as a goal for the whole system of selection, is that you want the community to change direction of the WMF. Is that correct? (for the record: I do disagree with your aimed direction for the WMF, and I know several other community members that would probably also disagree. Just to make sure it's clear that your preferred direction may very well not be the outcome of whatever process we implement.) Effeietsanders (talk) 09:53, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Not exactly. Let's say it like that: My goal is that the communities have an institutionalized voice in the steering of the WMF. This is a political question because there are different ideas what a non-profit organization should do. Exchanging these ideas and deciding which one we want to pursue is a political process, not in the sense of political parties but in the sense of organization politics. In this process the Communities must have a strong voice that cannot be ignored. Currently they have no voice in the power structure of the WMF. This is my point.
Personally, I have a definite opinion which way the WMF should go. I described it above and I know that there are many people who share my opinion. However, I am fully aware that there are other opinions and I have no way of knowing which opinion is more frequent.
My ideas concerning selection, representation, and decision do not aim at pushing through my opinion. They aim at a better representation and position of the most important stakeholders of the Wikimedia projects (i.e. the communities) in the WMF power structure. Maybe the outcome (in terms of contents) would not be as I wish, but this is not the point. The point is that the communities have to have a strong voice in the institutional framework of the WMF. --Mautpreller (talk) 12:24, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Total eligible voters[edit]

I'm wondering if included in this article, or somewhere else, could state the total number of eligible voters - as opposed to the number that cast ballots in this election. Would be interesting to see the turnout. If anyone can direct me to these figures, I'd greatly appreciate it.--Farragonaut (talk) 21:46, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi! There were 56,483 eligible voters, of which 5,120 voted, for a turnout of around 9.06%. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 22:04, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
(This is slightly less than in 2015, where 9.53% of eligible voters actually did.) Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 22:04, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Brackets[edit]

Please could someone add brackets to Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Vote Questions (and wherever else this appears) to make the calculation "Support/Support+Oppose" clearer. I think it's supposed to be read as "Support/(Support+Oppose)", not "(Support/Support)+Oppose". ;-) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:46, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

@Mike Peel: Done! Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 18:26, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

FDC election numbers - typo?[edit]

@JSutherland (WMF): Thanks for posting these. I think there's a typo on the results line for Liam Wyatt - if you sum up the votes for that line, you get 944, while the others all sum to 950. I think there's a copy-paste error on the number of opposes, since it's identical to the lines above/below, and changing this from 129 to 135 gives the correct support percentage. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 11:06, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Indeed, there was an error. Ruslik (talk) 19:38, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Where's the ballot dump?[edit]

Hi,

for some reason, the Ballot dump still seems empty. Am I overlooking anything? Effeietsanders (talk) 02:22, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

Huh, we must have overlooked that. James and I will look into this. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 21:09, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
@Effeietsanders: Dumps are now published:
Apologies for the delay. Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 01:27, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
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